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Medical Assistant

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Medical Assistant is expected to be one of the fastest growing professions and one of the Top Ten Hottest Careers through 2012. Job opportunities are excellent as with many professions related to the healthcare industry.

The healthcare services industry has grown tremendously and continues to expand, thanks to technological breakthroughs. The growing number of aging American population seeking medical treatment has also fueled the need for more support personnel.

This is one of the fastest growing professions in California.

If you are wondering where all the Fresno and Fresno county jobs are, then you should know that the the top 4 Private Sector Employers in Fresno county and central San Joaquin Valley are all health care and medical centers.

In fact, there are 5 health care and medical centers in the top 10 Private Sector Employers list -

There are also many other hospitals and medical facilities in Fresno that require medical personnel as well. Thus, if you're looking for jobs in Fresno or Fresno county, this is a great profession to be in.

While job applicants generally only need a high school diploma, most employers prefer to hire applicants that have gone through a medical assisting program offered in some community colleges, vocational or trade schools.

Those programs provide training for job related procedures and techniques.

How to Become a Medical Assistant

Here's what you need to know:

1) What is a Medical Assistant?

2) Duties and Responsibilities

3) Licensing Requirements in California

4) How to become a CMA

5) How to become a RMA

6) How to become a CCMA

7) Show me the money!

8) Schools (You can request information from medical assistant schools in YOUR state here)


1) What is a Medical Assistant?

The Medical Board of California defines Medical Assistants as unlicensed health professionals who perform basic administrative, clerical and non-invasive, routine medical tasks under the supervision of a licensed physician and surgeon or podiatrist in a medical office or clinic setting.

The supervising physician, surgeon or podiatrist must be on premises in order for the assistant to perform those non-invasive medical tasks.

2) Duties and Responsibilities

A medical assistant's duties vary from office to office, depending on the location and size of the practice and the practitioner's specialty. Duties may include:

If you're considering this or other health care careers, here're some books you should check out:

3) Licensing Requirements in California

Medical assistants are currently NOT licensed, certified, or registered by the State of California.

However, to stand out among others in the field or to be more attractive to potential employers, one might consider getting a certification.

The 3 Certifying Agencies approved by the Medical Board of California are:

4) How to become a CMA

To become a CMA, one must take and pass the AAMA CMA Certification exam AND:

5) How to become a RMA

To become a RMA, one must take and pass the RMA exam and satisfy all the following requirements:

(a) a graduate of a medical assisting program that is accredited by the Accrediting Bureau of Health Education Schools (ABHES), the Commission on Accreditation of Allied Health Programs (CAAHEP), a Regional Accrediting Commission or by a national accrediting organization approved by the United States Department of Education OR Formal medical services training program of the United States Armed Forces;


(b) be employed in the field for a minimum of 5 years

6) How to become a CCMA

To become a CCMA, one must take and pass the CCMA exam which consists of 3 areas: Basic, Administrative and Clinical and satisfy one of the following requirements:

  • Currently employed as a medical assistant by a licensed physician or podiatrist, or
  • Have graduated from a medical assisting program at an accredited institution within one year preceding the examination, or
  • Have had at least two years experience as a practicing medical assistant within the five years immediately preceding application, or
  • Be currently employed as an instructor of medical assisting in an accredited institution or
  • Military training or schooling equivalent to that provided by accredited medical assisting programs.
  • 7) Show me the money!

    The average medical assistants' salaries vary depending on location and size of the business and the experience level of the individual.

    Starting out, the hourly rate is from minimum wage to $12.50 an hour. With experience, one can expect to earn about $21.00 an hour.

    The median salary in 2003 in California was approximately $26,900.

    8) Schools

    Below are trade schools in Fresno that offer the medical assisting program. If accreditation with the different agencies is important to you, please verify with the school prior to enrolling.

    The best way to decide on a school is to gather the information first and then compare them.

    The easiest way to do this is to request information from several schools online and compare the info.

    Request info from Medical Assistant Schools in CA

    School Phone #
    Galen College of Medical and Dental Assistants 559.264.9726
    Heald College 559.438.4222
    Institute of Technology 559.297.4500
    Mced Career College 559.456.0623

    For more info on Healthcare or Medical Careers, check out: Medical Careers